Home ODISHA LATEST MEAI unhappy with SC order on Odisha mining, writes to President

MEAI unhappy with SC order on Odisha mining, writes to President

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 18:

The recent interim order of the Supreme Court on the PIL against illegal mining in Odisha has evoked sharp reactions from the Mining Engineers Association of India (MEAI), which has dashed off a letter to the President of India expressing serious concerns over it.

The Supreme Court order in Writ petition (Civil) No 114 of 2014 has directed the Odisha government not to allow operation in 26 out of 56 mines, comprising nearly half the mines in the state which produced approximately 35 million tonnes out of total of 76 million tonnes produced in last fiscal year.Goa Mining

In a release, the MEAI president Arijit Bagchi has said the order is harmful and damaging to the economy of the country and that different standards were used for the Goa and Odisha cases without spelling out the yardstick adopted by the honourable 3-member Forest Bench of the apex court.

Bagchi has argued that the delay by the state government to renew mining leases cannot be considered a valid reason for declaring mining operation either illegal or violation of rules as per the lease deed signed between the state governments and the lessees. He has also appealed to the Supreme Court to revisit the Goa order and modify it suitably in the light of the Odisha order.

” This is not to mean that amnesty should be given to those who have broken the law but only means that mining which is the starting point of job creation and wealth distribution in infrastructure, housing,shipping , transport , manufacturing industries etc should be allowed to start immediately in the case of Goa and suspension of mining withdrawn in Odisha in the 26 Mines, without compromising on loss recovery/ penalty proceedings where-ever applicable which in any case can continue as provided for invarious Acts including MMRD Act.” he said in the release.

The following are excerpts from the letter that MEAI has written to the President of India in the matter :

“The honourable SC Order dated 16th May 2014 is damaging and harmful to not only to the economy of the State of Orissa but also to the country as a whole. The Supreme Court order in Writ petition (Civil) No 114 of 2014 has directed the State Government not to allow operation in 26 out of 56 mines comprising nearly half the mines in the top state of Odhisa producing approximately 35 million tonnes out of total of 76 million tonnes produced in last fiscal year.

“The Court in Goa order dt 21st April 2014 in Writ Petition No 435 of 2014 had said that: Sub rule (6) of Rule 24A of the MC Rules regarding deemed renewal cannot apply to a renewal under sub-section (3) of section 8 of the MMDR Act because the renewal under this provision cannot be made without express orders of the state Government recording reasons for renewal in the interest of mineral development. Thus lease in Goa expired on 22.11.2007 and Mining after 22.1.2007 was illegal hence the order dt. 10.09.2012 suspending mining in Goa and the order dt.14.09.2012 suspending the EC cannot be quashed.

“In the case of Orissa, Honourable Supreme Court [SC] while directing the State Government not to allow mining in 26 Mines has neither fixed the date of expiry of leases after 1st renewal nor declared the mining since such retrospective date as “ illegal Mining” as declared in the Case of Goa . The SC has held the  operation of the leases were a “violation of law” considering the language of Section 8(3) of MMDR Act 1957. Further SC have also not deprived the lessees in Orissa of their entitlement to the entire sale value of inventory of the excavated ores lying in Mines, Stockyards, jetties, ports unlike in Goa where Supreme  Court have deprived the lessees of the inventory of Iron Ore declaring the State Government as the owner  and ordered e-auction by the State Government and distribution of proceeds as per the method  mentioned in the order dated 21st April 2014.

Mining Pic“In other words although mines in Orissa and Goa are both in their 2nd renewal, SC have expired the Mining  leases in Goa beyond the 1st renewal with retrospective effect declaring mining conducted beyond first renewal as “Illegal Mining”— as if without a valid Mining lease .

“In the case of Orissa, SC has not expired the mining leases beyond the 1st renewal and declared their leases as still valid and considered mining during the period after the 1st Renewal as “violation of the law”. Thus the Supreme Court has used different Rules while delivering Judgment for Odisha and Goa for reasons which are not clear.

“Mining beyond the first Renewal cannot be declared as “Illegal Mining”  nor “Violation of the law” , considering the language of  Section 4, which states that “No person shall undertake mining operations except under and in  accordance with the terms and conditions of a Mining lease “ and considering the language of terms and  condition in Part IX (4 ) of the lease deed in Form k as per Rule 31 of MCR under Section 13 which states  that : if the fulfillment by the lessee/lessees of any terms and condition of the lease be delayed, “from  any happening” which the lessee /lessees “could not reasonably prevent or control”, the period of such  delay shall be added to the period fixed by the lease and such failure shall not give the Central or the State  Government any claim against the lessee/lessees or deemed a breach of this lease.

“In Goa and Orissa, lease holders both had applied for renewal and it was the responsibility of the State Government to follow the procedure ought to be followed for first or Second renewals as the case maybe. But this did not happen. What is that lessees in Goa and Odisha could have reasonably done to prevent or control the delay in renewal of the lease or signing of the fresh lease deed ? Can delay to execute fresh lease deed deemed to be a breach of any lease condition by the lessee which calls for not allowing mining by the State Government?

“The honorable Supreme Court has very rightly pointed out that lessees have the statutory right of first renewal and thereafter they have right only to apply for further renewal under Section 8(3) of MMRD Act  and the State has the power to renew after opinion is formed and recorded.

“However, should failure by  the State Government to timely renew mining lease deeds bestow the State Government of Goa the  entitlement to claim Reward equivalent to the entire value of inventory of excavated ores as elaborated  in Goa Order ? But not allow the State Government of Orissa with similar entitlement? Or should not  the delay entitle the lessee the Right to continue legitimate mining in Goa and Orissa , depriving the  Central or the State Government from making any claim against the lessee/lessees on account of any  breach what-so-ever of the terms and conditions considering the language of Section 4, Section 13, Rule  31 and the legal document signed with the State Government explained above notwithstanding, the  language of Section 8(3) under MMRD Act.

“This is not to mean that amnesty should be given to those who have broken the law but only means that mining which is the starting point of job creation and wealth distribution in infrastructure, housing,shipping , transport , manufacturing Industries etc should be allowed to start immediately in the case of Goa and suspension of mining withdrawn in Orissa in the 26 Mines, without compromising on loss recovery/ penalty proceedings where-ever applicable which in any case can continue as provided for invarious Acts including MMRD Act.”

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. It is high time mining engineers join and make their presence felt.
    If these are illegal mines and to be closed let the concerned Govt take actions on those who did move the files , (may be intentional)
    The fact remains that without mining we cannot survive a general opinion is created that miners are sinners out to pollute and spoil the environ .

  2. The illegal mining shall be curbed by the Government and its machinery.For lack of administration the progress of the country cannot be stalled.The law shall be such a transparent system shall be evolved or Government shall itself undertake the mining activities instead of losing the interest of the nation.The supreme court shall order the Government to reopen these mines and run them under their direction or shall create an authority to do the operations for the progress of the Nation.The employees are losing their living .The mining community shall move the apex court to revisit the decision.
    cnssastry
    Dy.General Manager(Mines)
    RINL

  3. The Supreme Court has punish concern govt. authority who has responsible for the illegal mining , and Resume Mining Operation rest of this 26 mines in Odisa .

  4. We should move the Apex Court to review the decision in this regard for the mining community is at the bottom of the pyramid of the economy of this country.We know the persons responsible for this. The truth should come out and they should be punished.

  5. in the country’s economic development mining plays a vital role. so to stop the mines in odisha & goa will not be the solution for eradication of illegal mining. this type of action shows the motive of saving one’s skin by hitting others. so the SC order to stop the mines should be withdrawn and thus save the helpless workers those who are earning thir bread through this industry.
    Hope new optimistic Govt. will think over it and help mining industry for the sake of country’s better economy.
    L.N.Bhattacharya,mining engineer[rtd],scy.safety,INMF,INTUC.

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